Ask Me Another

Ophira Eisenberg

NPR's exciting new show featuring puzzles, word games and trivia played in front of a live audience. Ask Me Another is a co-production of NPR and WNYC.

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Ask Me Another
10:17 am
Thu December 26, 2013

State Of Mind

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now, we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back, from Oh, Oxymoron, Amy Patrick.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Celebrity AA Meeting: Joslyn Hansen. From Imperial Pets: Denise Grab. From Not Like the Others: Michael Crommett. And from Consonant Weight Loss Plan: Thomas Taylor.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm gong to ask our puzzle guru John Chaneski to crown our winner.

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Ask Me Another
10:17 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Not Like The Others

Out of the four things on house musician Jonathan Coulton's list, try to figure out which one does not belong and why. His clues cover everything from nursery rhymes, to wonders of the world, to a certain song by Mr. Rick Astley.

And afterwards, Coulton covers a song about a person who is not like the others: Radiohead's "Creep."

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Ask Me Another
10:17 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Imperial Pets

When it comes to pets, it's hard not to treat them as little versions of yourself. Just ask Katy Perry, who fondly named her cat Kitty Purry. (True story.) In this game, we focus on people who are a little more highbrow, while simultaneously subjecting them the lowest form of humor. Host Ophira Eisenberg asks you to make animal puns out of the names of world leaders, like "Chairman Meow."

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Ask Me Another
12:03 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

A.J. Jacobs: Traditional Holiday Traditions

A.J. Jacobs reads a list of ... something, but we don't want to spoil the surprise.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:20 am

Did you know that every Dec. 7, Guatemalans gather trash from their homes into a giant pile, throw an effigy of the devil on top and then light it on fire? This practice, known as "the burning of the devil," may sound a bit far-fetched, but it's actually true.

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Ask Me Another
11:17 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Cinema Synonyms, Holiday Edition

Contestants await puzzle guru Art Chung's series of mind-bending, quick fire questions.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:20 am

In this final round, puzzle guru Art Chung re-titles other holiday films with some less festive words. The titles have been rewritten as synonyms of the original titles. For example, The Section of a Contract About the Spanish Word for Saint is the rewritten title for The Santa Clause. (It should be noted that we are using "synonym" quite loosely.)

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Ask Me Another
11:17 am
Tue December 17, 2013

A Holiday Story From Ophira Eisenberg

"Red alert! Jew in the lap! Red alert! Jew in the lap!"
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:20 am

Ophira Eisenberg, host of Ask Me Another, grew up Jewish, but maintained an obsession with Santa Claus. Hear Eisenberg share a story about her first childhood encounter with Father Christmas, at a shopping mall in Canada.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
2:59 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Music Favorites: Track 3

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:59 am

It's the grand finale of Ask Me Another's favorite musical games. Fugazi's Ian MacKaye teams up with NPR's Stephen Thompson to identify acoustic renditions of punk songs performed in decidedly un-punk style by house musician Jonathan Coulton ("Un-Punk'd"). And puzzle guru Art Chung leads a gripping final round on phrases and proper nouns that contain the name of a musical instrument ("Our Magnum Opus").

Ask Me Another
2:59 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Music Favorites: Track 2

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:59 am

The hour of musical games continues. Sometimes we like to get a little more clever than "name that tune"-style music games. Here, Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton disguise word games as songs ("Triple Word Score"), invite contestants to sing and clap the answers ("Happy and You Know It"), and search to find the best lyricist among the audience to update Cole Porter's timeless classic, "You're The Top" ("Pen It Like Porter").

Ask Me Another
2:59 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Music Favorites: Track 1

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:59 am

Drop a quarter into the Ask Me Another jukebox this week, and revisit some music games from seasons' past. No musical history is sacred on this show--we will rewrite any song lyrics into trivia questions. Join host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton as we defile the Fab Four in the game "With The Beatles," and Carly Rae Jepsen's 2012 earworm in a round dubbed "Call Me M.B."

Ask Me Another
10:10 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Call The Doctor

Puzzle Guru John Chaneski leads this final round in which every correct answer is the name of a real or fictional doctor, most of whom you shouldn't go to for medical advice. Except maybe Dr. Who. Bonus trivia question: On The Muppet Show, who led the house band and played the keyboards?

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
10:10 am
Thu December 5, 2013

'The Very Thought Of You': Nellie McKay Channels Doris Day

Nellie McKay.
Rick Gonzalez

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:51 pm

  • Web Extra: Hear our interview with Nellie McKay, plus a duet with Jonathan Coulton

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Ask Me Another
10:10 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Gone To The Dogs

This game is rather simple: each answer contains the name of a dog breed. For example, the Simon & Garfunkel song that begins, "I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told," is "The Boxer." Of course, as house musician Jonathan Coulton will tell you, a boxer is a breed of dog, as well as a person who boxes. The song is not, however, about a person who puts things in boxes.

Ask Me Another
9:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Zombie Gourmets

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 12:17 pm

Zombies eat brains, everyone knows that. But if brains aren't available, zombies are not picky; they'll eat anything that rhymes with "brains." In this round, host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton serve up clues to groups of nouns or names that follow this rhyming pattern. Points awarded to those who answer in a scary zombie voice.

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Ask Me Another
9:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Killer Apps

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 12:14 pm

Puzzle guru Will Hines leads this final round, in which every correct answer is a word, phrase or proper noun that contains the letters "a-p-p" in order. For example, if he said, "It's what you tear off your birthday presents," you would say, "wrapping paper." Word nerds everywhere who rule this game, we applaud you.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
9:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

R.L. Stine: What's Scarier?

Author R.L. Stine tries to guess whether Ask Me Another listeners find "ventriloquist dolls" or "a swarm of bees" scarier.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:50 am

You'd think a guy who writes scary books for a living would know a thing or two about what makes our hearts race and our palms sweat. We put the best-selling horror author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series to the test in this Ask Me Another Challenge based on an audience poll. Did Stine know what scares our listeners more: ghosts, or being alone for the rest of your life?

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Ask Me Another
9:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Sympathy For The Tasmanian Devil

Mick Jagger was reportedly inspired to write The Rolling Stones' hit song "Sympathy for the Devil" after reading Mikhaíl Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. We were inspired to re-write "Sympathy for the Devil" after watching Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes. As such, house musician Jonathan Coulton's musical clues in this game are about various Looney Tunes characters, from Tweety to Elmer Fudd.

Ask Me Another
10:13 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Waterlogged

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:40 pm

You're going to need a bigger boat for this final round led by puzzle guru John Chaneski. Every answer is a word, phrase or proper noun that contains the name of a body of water or waterway. For example, the actress that starred in the John Waters movie Hairspray, before becoming a TV talk show host, is Ricki Lake.

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Ask Me Another
10:13 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Knock On Woody

Actor Justin Long takes his turn in the puzzle hot seat for a game about the director Woody Allen.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 12:58 pm

Actor Justin Long told us he admires the work of Woody Allen, but we wanted to see just how much he knows about the man born Allen Stewart Konigsberg. In this Ask Me Another Challenge, host Ophira Eisenberg quizzes Long on all things Woody, from the films he's directed to the instrument he plays. (Hint: It's a woodwind.)

Ask Me Another
10:13 am
Thu November 14, 2013

The Disney Wrongbook

The song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," from The Lion King may be about Simba and Nala's feelings for each other. But when house musician Jonathan Coulton gets his hands on it, he just might turn it into a tribute to The Price is Right. In this game, Coulton performs renditions of Disney tunes with the lyrics rewritten to be about very non-Disney things.

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Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Our Magnum Opus

In this Ask Me Another final round, puzzle guru Art Chung quizzes the remaining contestants on phrases and proper nouns that contain the name of a musical instrument. For example, a narrow type of stemware that you might drink your Dom Perignon out of is a "champagne flute."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:16 pm

For those who came of age in the 90s, or went to high school in the 80s, Freaks and Geeks is a cultural touchstone. Not only because it so perfectly captured the pains and joys of adolescence, but also because its young cast would go on to do amazing things. We quiz the show's creator, Paul Feig, about what everyone in the cast has been up to since their roles in Freaks and Geeks.

Plus, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" (also the Freaks and Geeks theme song) his own nerd-rock treatment.

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Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

First Name Basis

We live in an informal society — no one's introduced as Mr. Coulton or Ms. Eisenberg anymore. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg talks about celebrities on a first name basis, and asks contestants to give her the full name of a famous person by combining the first names of two other famous people.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
3:47 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Spoiler Alert

With the Internet, it can be hard to avoid people talking about key plot points of movies or TV programs that you haven't seen yet. "It's a sled! She's a man! The Red Wedding is not a happy occasion!" See? In this game, we're going to spoil some movies by asking you to identify them based on the very last lines spoken in the film. (Though as you'll see, the last lines of most films are quite vague and spoiler-free.)

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Ask Me Another
10:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Such Characters

Contestants gather for the final round.
Steve Petrucelli

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:18 pm

In this final round, led by puzzle guru Art Chung, contestants are given the names of two actors who have played the same role in different movies, and they must name the character. For example, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro both played Vito Corleone from The Godfather trilogy. Who was a more convincing mob boss? We'll let you figure that out on your own.

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Ask Me Another
10:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Ian MacKaye: Un-Punk'd

Ian MacKaye (left) and NPR's Stephen Thompson play an Ask Me Another Challenge in Washington, D.C.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:08 pm

Throughout his career as a musician, Ian MacKaye has played, listened to and analyzed countless hours of music. But how will he fare in our version of "Name That Tune"? In this Ask Me Another Challenge, MacKaye teams up with Stephen Thompson, NPR Music Editor and co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, to identify punk songs performed acoustically by house musician Jonathan Coulton.

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Ask Me Another
10:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Urge To Merge

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:08 pm

In this game led by host Ophira Eisenberg, you get to become a corporate executive. Trust us, it's way more fun than board meetings and conference calls. We merge two well-known businesses, and it's up to you to create the new company's name. For example, if the company that prepares one in every six U.S. tax returns merged with a struggling video rental company, they would form H&R Blockbuster, which is a combination of H&R Block and Blockbuster

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Peace And War

Contestants gather for a tense final round at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:37 am

It's Opposite Day for this final round, in which puzzle guru Art Chung will give you the "opposite" of a well-known book title, and you must figure out the real one. For example, "The Visible Woman," is a clue to The Invisible Man. So if we tell you "bad misfortune," what we really mean is--good luck.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Piper Kerman: Recipes For Survival

Piper Kerman at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Sun June 8, 2014 5:49 am

  • Piper Kerman explains the recipe for 'Prison Cheesecake'

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Grammatically Incorrect Songs

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jess Banks and Paul Reyburn.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Paul, you're an actor and director?

PAUL REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And you were once in the "Full Monty." Did you go full monty?

REYBURN: We certainly did.

EISENBERG: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: How was it?

REYBURN: Revealing.

EISENBERG: Revealing.

REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And Jess, interesting job, a game publisher.

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Ask Me Another
9:44 am
Thu October 17, 2013

One Or More

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jake Stoler and Ileen Roos.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to you both. Hi, Ileen. Hi, Jake. Now, you both grew up playing a lot of games at home. Jake, what was your favorite game to play at home with your family?

JAKE STOLER: We would rent the Jeopardy Nintendo game every week and that's kind of how I wound up here.

EISENBERG: Really? Okay. And Ileen?

ILEEN ROOS: Much more old school than that, Parcheesi and Trivial Pursuit and...

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